Becoming a Student / Private Sessions

If you have developed a stable daily meditation practice, it’s possible to become a student at Mountain Cloud by taking the following steps.

Attend enough sits and events to feel clearly that Mountain Cloud is a community and place where you’d like to practice. (During the covid lockdown please attend our online events).

Attend several of our “introduction to meditation” classes.

Listen and watch these introductory talks (podcasts and videos) recorded by Henry.

Attend at least two multi day retreats (5 days or longer each). During the covid-19 lockdown, attend at least four virtual retreats.

Read the Guidelines for Members written by Henry.

Become a member of Mountain Cloud. Click here for details.

Read some of our recommended books:

  • Zen: the Authentic Gate, Yamada Koun
  • Three Pillars of Zen, Philip Kapleau
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki
  • Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana

During lockdown our teachers, Henry Shukman and Valerie Forstman, are not having any in person meetings with students.  Once you have completed some of the suggested readings and classes, set up counseling session with Henry or Valerie, as a way to begin receiving individual guidance. You can email Valerie or Henry directly. Contact details are below.

Private Interviews / Dokusan

Henry is not currently offering private dokusan for his students.  

Valerie is offering online dokusan to any interested Mountain Cloud member, including Henry’s students.  She offers 10-minute interviews which you can schedule through our online system. If you decide to schedule with Valerie, please send her a brief email prior to your first meeting with details about your practice (eg what koan you are working on or other relevant details).

Please contact our administrator to gain access to this online scheduling system.

Private Practice – Extended Interviews

If you would like an extended interview with Valerie about your practice and spiritual journey, she is available for spiritual practice sessions. Sessions are typically 30-55 minutes long and are available via skype, zoom, FaceTime, Whatsapp and phone. There is a fee based on a flexible sliding scale, we want to make these sessions affordable for all regardless of financial means. Contact Valerie directly for scheduling.


At this time, Henry is not offering private interviews or dokusan. He recommends that you begin by following our guidelines on the website for becoming a student. Or, if you’re not interested in becoming a student at MC, then start by attending some of our events, including at least two retreats, or two of our multi-week courses.

footer support banner image

Support Mountain Cloud

You can show your gratitude for Mountain Cloud events, retreats, podcasts and other teachings by making a one-time gift, or by becoming a supporting member.

Donate to Mountain Cloud Become a Member

Pin It on Pinterest